Beware of These Unhealthy and Addictive Foods
We live in a fast-paced world, where our speed has determined our need for fast, convenient food alternatives, that are often unhealthy. Many of us don’t have time to cook, or simply haven’t taken the time to learn how to cook our own meals. So we just go for instant meals, junk food and fast food. Little do we know that we slowly and steadily get addicted to substances that are present in these foods, that leave us craving for more. Smells and textures are addictive too.
What goes into making a food perfect? A lot goes into accomplishing the perfect “sensory” pleasure. For example, food companies use extremely expensive devices valued at tens of thousands of dollars that simulate a chewing mouth to make the perfect potato chip.
Sufficient attention to detail can make the difference between a blockbuster snack or an abysmal failure in the market. “People like a chip that snaps with about four pounds of pressure per square inch,” says Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us so technologists seek “the perfect break point.”
Unhealthy, Addictive Foods Contain:
- Fat that promotes crunch, creaminess and contrast, blends flavors and even lubricates mouthfuls so that people eat faster.
- Starch that is absorbed more quickly than sugar, but also causes glucose levels in the blood to spike and the body to ask for “more!”
- Salt. We all need salt, but within reason. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and other mineral imbalances.
The food technologists are responsible for creating complex formulas that can allure the taste buds and even the aroma and presentations that tells the brain to crave for more.
Unhealthy, Addictive Foods to Watch and Avoid
Soft Drinks. Most people crave for soft drinks every day and say they are addicted already. Caffeine is one of the additives that cause us to get lured by soft drinks. But caffeine is not the only one. Many soft drinks get their its “fizzy bite” from phosphoric, citric, malic and tartaric acids, all kept afloat by a controversial additive known as BVO or brominated vegetable oil. Of course, soft drinks are loaded with either sugar, or artificial sweeteners. The artificial sweetener industry protects its products by downplaying any studies that indicate side effects. But it can be safely assumed that any unnatural chemical substances introduced into the body in such large quantities – and consistently over a period of time – may have long term side effects that could manifest years from now.
Cured Meats. Meats are cured with nitrates that inhibit gut bacteria, lengthen shelf life and impart the pleasing taste and color that add to foods’ appeal. Bacon, ham, pastrami, salami hot dogs and sausages all have sodium nitrite. Some studies have shown that nitrites combine with other chemicals to form potential carcinogenic substances.
Microwave Popcorn. The irresistible smell from the butter flavoring chemicals like diacetyl and pentanedione are dissipated into the air by the heating process and there are questions about their safety. These additives have been shown to be connected to lung cancer in a study of workers exposed to their vapors in popcorn industries.
Salty, Roasted Snacks. Cooking carbohydrate-rich foods at temperatures high enough to produce a yellow or brown surface usually means that acrylamide has formed such as in salty snacks like potato chips, french fries, toasted crisp breads and even non-salty roasted breakfast cereals can be irresistible. Acrylamide is a cancer-causing and potentially dangerous chemical.
All Fast Food. We opt to eat out because we are busy and have not time to cook but a recent study revealed that 83 percent of people who eat outside of their home do so because of “cravings” and 75 percent who visit restaurants more than once a week do so for a specific dish they crave.
For example Chicken McNuggets are a massive success especially with younger kids. However, most consumers do not know that it contains dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent. It also contains propylene glycol, an antifreeze ingredient, and autolyzed yeast extract which artificially enhances the taste and craving for the dish.
Make the Change
Society has changed radically in the last few decades. Even when we walk up and down the freezer aisle of the grocery store, we see that most of the foods that catch the eye have something unhealthy about them. We live in what is known as an “obesogenic” (obesity promoting) society that promotes foods that not only induce unhealthy body weights, but also introduction of toxins to the body. In other words – if you don’t make a strong effort to go away from the norm, the outcome will be obesity and down the road, chronic disease.
Fast food centers simply exploit the evils of today’s society: we are all in a rush, we need quickly available food, anytime of the day or night, we need it affordable. And we want it to make us feel good while we are eating it.
The perfect recipe for disaster as thousands of people experience everyday. If you are caught in that trap, the time to reverse that trend for you is – NOW.
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